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Metamathemagical by Jonathan Zawada

Lighting of the Sails

Celebrated Australian artist Jonathan Zawada creates a site-specific artwork transforming the Sydney Opera House sails into a series of kinetic digital sculptures.


Jonathan Zawada’s concept for the installation explores metaphysical themes using imagery inspired by the Australian environment. “I really wanted to take a big picture view of both what Vivid is about, but more importantly, how I feel about Australia as this kind of elemental, timeless place that is also completely new and full of energy.”

Jonathan Zawada will create a series of digital sculptures and compositions distorting and mutating in continuous motion. The artist will construct various scenes evolving and dissolving as objects are introduced, removed or metamorphosise. Within these scenes, everyday objects and natural specimens will appear as hyperreal representations and fantastical reimaginings.

Jonathan Zawada’s unique and highly influential aesthetic style is characterised by his bold use of neon colour and striking geometric designs. The award-winning artist has exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas, including in Paris, London, Los Angeles, Beijing and Tokyo. He has worked in collaboration with numerous Australian and international artists including Flume, The Presets, Mark Pritchard, Moses Sumney and Romance Was Born.

Jonathan Zawada’s approach to the Lighting of the Sails in 2018 encourages audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate by identifying various recognisable Australian motifs across science, nature and culture.

Sydney Opera House is also excited to invite visitors who are blind or have low vision and their companions to join us for a personalised live audio-described tour of the Opera House’s Lighting of the Sails.

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